Kecksburg, a UFO Case with Meat on its Bones
December 9th, 1965. The very first Peanuts TV special aired, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charles de Gaulle had just been reelected President of France. Several hundred thousand US troops had by then been deployed to Vietnam, and opposition to the war was starting to heat up. And on that afternoon over a number of Eastern States and Southern Canada a fireball was observed (and filmed) streaking across the sky, dropping debris and starting some grass fires in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Residents in Pennsylvania heard the sonic boom, and at least one seismometer recorded the fireball’s passage. And near the little town of Kecksburg PA, something crashed in the woods. A number of people went to the crash site, but it was very quickly secured by the army. They roped it off, scoured the area, and left the next day, claiming nothing had been found. Nonetheless numerous witnessed reported seeing an acorn shaped craft with hieroglyphics on it, some even reported it being hauled away on a flat bed truck. And that, pretty much, is that. All of the above is well documented, the fireball and the army presence at the site. Witness statements vary, as they will, but that’s the basics of the case.
Now, there’s one other aspect of this case that’s a little alarming. One John Murphy, news director and reporter for the local radio station, was one of the very first witnesses on the scene. He took a number of pictures. He was very excited about the object he had seen and photographed in the woods, he was going to do a special on it on his radio station. Then government agents visited him, he cancelled the show, and later aired and extremely redacted version that didn’t even mention the object. He claimed the government confiscated his photos. He became depressed about the case, and a few years later was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Interesting, nu?
The last thing to know about this case is that the government and NASA have been all over the map on it since. They claim it was a Russian satellite. They claim nothing was found. They claim they lost the samples. They claim they lost the records. This is suspicious and worth mentioning because it indicates that at least some elements of the government know something real happened at Kecksburg.
OK, so what are the possibilities. The first possibility is that while the fireball was real (that can’t be denied) the crash in Kecksburg was just panic generated by the fireball. IE a lot of people saw the fireball, some kid said he saw smoke in the woods, and in the dark and confusion running around in the woods at night people imagined all sorts of things. The army arrived in a panic because this was the Cold War and the Space Race was on and a Russian launch had taken place that day, but they didn’t find anything. This scenario is entirely plausible, except that it doesn’t explain the government’s continuing interest in suppressing the story. If nothing was found, why prevent John Murphy from running his story?
The next theory is that it was indeed a crashed Russian satellite or Venus probe. This would explain pretty much everything, the case itself and the government’s interest in covering it up. If they really did capture a Russian space probe, this certainly would be a big deal at the height of the Cold War. And the acorn shape with strange writing on the bottom has a very vague resemblance to the Russian Venus probe that may have been what crashed. The big problem with this theory is that the timing and trajectory of the Russian launch seem to rule out the possibility that it could be the origin of the Kecksburg crash. And the object reported by witnesses was much larger than the Russian probe.
So what are we left with? No samples or photographs are in the public domain, though there seems to be pretty good reason to believe such existed at some time. Something definitely happened at Kecksburg, but exactly what cannot be determined. We have the same problem we had as Roswell, if an advanced alien device did crash, maybe the aliens themselves retrieved it shortly after the crash? I know the the “aliens are stealing the evidence” argument is a pat argument that is basically circular in it’s reasoning, but if advanced aliens are here and are trying to lay low, wouldn’t his be exactly what they would do? It’s not even beyond the realm of possibility that a network of unmanned alien probes are operating around Earth, with careful auto-destructs programmed in the event one does fall into human hands.
Kecksburg isn’t a smoking gun, but at least it’s a UFO case contemporary enough and well documented enough that I don’t think it can be simply and easily dismissed. I can’t think of a conventional explanation that completely satisfies all objections. Sadly, unless the government reveals that it does indeed have an alien probe in its possession (Or at least photographs of one before it mysteriously vanished off a flat bed truck en route to a military base,) I doubt this will ever go anywhere. A few TV specials were done on the case recently, but they were unable to dig up anything really spectacular, but what they did dig up added further intrigue to the case. Stay tuned, in any event here’s a site with more on the case.
And that concludes UFO week on Doug’s Darkworld. Or UFO week number one. Coming next week: The War on Terror spending madness as reported by the WaPo, a better description of the balloon analogy, maybe a post on American Exceptionalism, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Have a great weekend everyone.
(The above image is being used in accordance with the creator’s guidelines as far as I can tell. I’m supposed to properly attribute it, but the creator’s page seems to be gone and there’s no point attributing it to a dead link. It’s a mock-up of the object sighted in the woods that night created for one of the above referenced TV specials. The good citizens of Kecksburg had it installed next to their fire station for the education and enlightenment of all.)